A few years back, I checked out the first series DVD of Kenneth Branagh's take on the popular Swedish character, Wallander. In a nutshell, I was smitten by it — which is quite a feat indeed, considering I wasn't a big Branagh fan to begin with. The introductory BBC adaptation lured me in like a hungry fish in a cold dark sea, and the promise of more feature-length episodes along the same caliber had me praying the subsequent contributions wouldn't do that which so many American shows tend to do so early on in their often-limited lifespan and jump the shark real quick like.
Well, here I am now, more than three years down the line, reviewing Wallander (Series) 3 — and I'm very pleased to report that the show is just as good as it was when I first laid eyes on it. Part of the charm is possibly contributable to the fact that the character of Kurt Wallander — as portrayed by the aforementioned Mr. Branagh — hasn't changed too terribly much. He's still just as miserable as ever: his title as police inspector has not liven up his personal life any — which is not surprising since a job wherein you frequently follow Death is unlikely to earn any brownie points with your loved ones.
As it turns out, Death is a regular visitor to this part of Sweden — and has once more left a bundle of joy at Wallander's doorstep. Actually, it's in the yard of his new home in the country that he discovers some skeletal remains; a mystery he attempts to unravel in his own time as he tries to find out why a young woman was pushed to her demise from a ferry at work in "An Event in Autumn," the first of three offerings in this series. The second episode, "The Dogs of Riga" finds Kurt investigating the gang-style murder of two Latvians, which takes him to Latvia for a take on the timeless ol' fish-out-of-water tale.